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MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Heat are in the midst of a 7-game homestand and are looking like they can get through it without a loss.
The young Minnesota Timberwolves are turning some heads and gaining a lot of respect lately, it just isn’t adding up to a lot of wins.
The Timberwolves will try to pull out of a four-game skid when they visit the Heat on Tuesday.
Rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns and second-year guards Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine are putting up some big numbers on offense but Minnesota is not helping itself on the other end of the floor.
The Timberwolves are allowing an average of 113.5 points during their latest slide and allowed the Memphis Grizzlies, who entered the game with the worst shooting percentage in the league (40.1), to go off at 56.3 percent in Sunday’s 114-106 setback.
Minnesota could learn a thing or two from the veteran Heat, who have not allowed any of their last seven opponents to reach 100 points and are surrendering a stingy 85 during a three-game winning streak.
Miami owns the top scoring defense in the NBA (90.2 points) and is among the league leaders while holding opponents to 40.9 percent from the field.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), Sun Sports (Miami)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (4-6): Minnesota should be happy to head back out on the road after falling to 0-5 at home with Sunday’s loss, including 96-84 setback against the Heat on Nov. 5.
The Timberwolves are in the bottom third of the league in scoring defense (104.5 points allowed) and opponents field-goal percentage (.453) but sit in the top third offensively in both categories (103.1 points, 45.9 percent).
“We have to worry about our defense,” interim coach Sam Mitchell told reporters. “We have to play better defense.”
ABOUT THE HEAT (6-3): Miami has the potential to get even better soon with Dwyane Wade expected back on Tuesday and Gerald Green later in the week.
Wade missed Thursday’s game while attending to his ill son and Green last played on Nov. 3 before being hospitalized and then serving a two-game suspension.
Green, who returned to practice over the weekend, averaged 10.3 points off the bench in the first three games of the season and apologized to teammates, fans and residents of his apartment building while declining to discuss the details of the event that led to his suspension.
- Heat F Chris Bosh is averaging 24.8 points in the last four games.
- Minnesota G Ricky Rubio (hamstring) missed the last four games and is day-to-day.
- Wade scored 25 points in the Nov. 5 meeting while Towns struggled to six points on 3-of-13 shooting – his lowest output of the season.
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